Possesions

I recently bought a book about Mahatma Ghandhi, and as usual I flicked through it looking at the pictures.  One photograph in particular caught my imagination; a picture of Ghandhi’s worldly possessions at his death – all ten of them.  The picture isn’t too good, so I looked on the Internet to see what some of the items are, and I discovered a whole world of ‘minimalist’ living.

It turns out that some people actually make a conscious decision to live with a limited number of items, and then write about their lifestyle choice.  Several people report having less than 100 possessions, and there is even a ‘challenge’ for anyone who can live with 100 items or fewer.  So, it being a long and dull Sunday…

The grand total is 184 items.  I won’t bore you with what they are, except to say…6 items that I can listen to the radio on???

Of course I have cheated, as in fact everyone else seems to have done.  People routinely miss out their book collections (if you are counting, that’s an extra hundred or so) and furniture (it doesn’t belong to me, but if it did – an extra ten).

I wonder how many people would cope if they actually were forced to limit the number of items they posess? Would they be able to plan a suitcase full, or would they be looking for little ways out? A pair of socks or ear rings is one item, surely? And is it necessary to count my comb? It only cost me pennies to buy…

Materialists, I suspect, remain so even when they become minimalist materialists.  Would I do any better?  Probably not.  But having drawn up an inventory I can see that I have some work to do.

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